20 Ridiculous Things That’ll Spice Up Your Living Room Now You’re Literally Living In It
If you’re getting bored staring at the same four walls, there’s not a lot we can do about having to stay inside, but we can offer tips about changing the walls themselves. Our living rooms are currently the place we’re spending all our time – now seems like the perfect opportunity to make a few changes to make the lounge more comfortable and inviting. Some ideas will be more of a time investment, but for a lot of us, that’s not really an issue.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
We’re starting with an obvious one, but it’s amazing how much a new colour can change the feel of a room. You might be tempted to go for a popular colour, or a shade you’ve envied in someone else’s home, but try to find the colour that will suit the space.
If you don’t have much natural light, buttery yellows and sage greens can make the room feel brighter, whereas a room with huge windows can benefit from richer colours or deep tones such as charcoal grey. The most important thing though, is that you love the colour – you’re the one that has to live with it!
Create a Feature Wall
If you don’t want to paint the whole room, you can just paint one wall, or use an interesting wallpaper to create a feature wall. Ideally, if your living room has a niche, this would be the perfect choice, or paint either side of a fireplace.
Regardless of the wall you choose, adding a punch of colour – generally a contrasting colour chosen from a fabric or feature in the room – will change the focal point of the room. We’ve found that changing the colour behind a set of shelves can look particularly effective.
Change Your Light Fixture
This may sound a little silly – as we know from horror movies, nobody ever looks up. But if you paint an old light fixture in bold, bright colours, it will draw the eye, and can pull the room’s eclectic feel together.
If you don’t have the sort of lighting fixture you can paint, you can always recover it in another fabric, or find a new quirky design online. IKEA has a huge lighting range – we particularly like this red flower lamp, though it certainly wouldn’t suit every room.
Add Colour to the Floor
As with looking up, we don’t always look where we’re putting our feet. But you’d be surprised by how much difference a throw rug can make. In the words of The Dude (The Big Lebowski), it can really tie the room together.
Rugs don’t need to perfectly match the colour scheme either – they can become a focal point all on their own. It’s amazing how much variety you can find even on Amazon – perhaps now is the time to treat yourself to something big.
Bring in the Outdoors
If you’re like us, you may have killed a few plants in your time. Perhaps we shouldn’t have started out with orchids, which are notoriously difficult to look after. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of plants that need little upkeep, and adding greenery to your living space can be visually appealing and beneficial for your wellbeing.
You should still be able to buy small house plants in places like Homebase and B&Q – you can have them delivered to your door if you’re not able to venture out yourself. Or if you’re really convinced that you won’t be able to keep plants alive, there are lots of beautiful artificial succulents you can buy.
An Abundance of Cushions
Painting your walls may be too bold a step to add colour to your living space – the quickest (and easily changeable) way to brighten up a room is to throw around a load of cushions.
Whether you use shades that compliment the room or completely contrasting colours, we’re of the opinion that you can never have too many throw pillows. For the perfectionists among you, if you can’t find the exact design you’re looking for online, pillows are one of the easiest things to sew. There are plenty of websites where you can buy fabric to make your own cushions to match the living room.
Having a range of textures in your living space really adds depth to the room. Combining dark grained wood with copper and other metallic accents can look stunning, as can a soft fluffy rug paired with a geometric side table.
Whatever your taste in decor, make sure you don’t stick too closely to one theme – having a bit of variety will make the space feel inviting and lived in. Mixing modern and vintage pieces can look particularly effective.
Buy a Mirror
As with texture, a mirror adds depth to a room, for obvious reasons. Adding a mirror as a focal point in your living room can brighten up the space, and you can always find one to suit your taste. With such a variety of frames and shapes available, you’ve got no excuse for not incorporating a mirror into your design.
You don’t even need to hang the mirror up if you don’t want the hassle of nails – why not lean it up on your mantel, or simply against the wall if it’s a tall mirror.
You may already have a piece of artwork up on your wall, but does it suit the room? Why not refresh the feel of your living space by adding a new piece of art – you can even get creative and make your own abstract work. Paintings can add a splash of colour, but if you prefer using the same tonal palette, don’t feel you need to choose a bold piece – find something that speaks to you.
If you’re more into photographs, you can make them stand out or blend in by using colourful frames. They come in just about every colour and size, so you can find the perfect frame to adorn your wall.
Create a Children’s Nook
A living room doesn’t just have to be a space for the adults of the house. By pulling your sofa away from the wall, you can create a space a few metres wide to add a bookshelf or toy storage drawers, and perhaps a small seating area for the kids.
Creating a special place for your children in the lounge is not only exciting for them, it will also give them a designated space to play, so hopefully they won’t be climbing all over the sofa or scaling the curtains anymore.
Use the Space
You may not have the biggest living room, but you can take advantage of the space you do have by investing in flexible furniture. This can include things such as nesting tables or seating that can expand if you have multiple guests (at some point in the future). If you’re stuck for storage space, you can also buy items that have more than one function – why not get a coffee table that has interior storage, or a storage bench?
Dividing up the room with your furniture can also make the space feel more comfortable. You could try using a bookcase as a room divider, or arrange your seating so that it creates its own space.
Add a Desk
With so many of us working from home at the moment, finding a space to work can be challenging. Not everybody has a home office, and sitting on your sofa isn’t always conducive to success – not when you associate it with relaxation.
Adding a desk behind the sofa not only looks good, it can be a better use of your space. Not to mention you can probably still see the television from your vantage point, when you need to take a break…
Buy a New Sofa
This may sound like a rather drastic step, but if you really want to make a big impact in your living room, replacing your tired old sofa with a new one can be a great move. A lot of us have owned our sofas for years, or even bought them second hand – now could be the time to find something that suits you perfectly.
You might be worried about buying a sofa online, but you really don’t need to test it out to see how comfortable it will be. You can use things like seat depth and arm height to determine just how it will feel when it arrives.
Paint Your Pieces
You don’t always have to buy new furniture to give it a new lease of life. Chalk paint looks lovely on wooden pieces of furniture – we’re rather partial to shades of grey – and doesn’t take too long to dry.
Just painting the back of a bookshelf can also look effective, or you can use an interesting wallpaper to cover the back. To really draw the eye, you could even paint the back of each shelf a different colour – just make sure the colours won’t clash terribly with the items you plan to put on the shelves.
Add a Drinks Cabinet
If you’re like us, you may already have a drinks cabinet or bar cart in your living room. You’ll almost certainly have somewhere to store the booze, even if it doesn’t have an official area.
If you don’t have an alcohol corner though, or if you want to move it out of the kitchen, why not double up an end table as a bar and display piece. You can store the bottles on the lower shelf, and use the table to show off a vase, photograph, or other knick knack. For more ideas, check out our post on creating a home bar.
Storage cabinets don’t have to be boring. Most of us need somewhere to hide the amount of clutter or paperwork we actually have, so will want some form of storage option.
Why not use bold colours to make your shelving stand out, rather than fade into the background, or find a piece that is more decorative. Using storage baskets or fabric boxes also makes redecorating easy – you can simply replace these rather than the whole unit, to match your new design.
Find a Centre Piece
A lot of people like to have coffee table books on display, but these will probably need replacing before too long, to give guests something new to read (again, when we can invite guests over).
If you don’t like the idea of constantly replacing your centre piece, it may be a good idea to find a charming bowl or interesting ornament. As long as it’s a conversation starter, you can’t really go wrong.
Painting a room a lighter colour can give the appearance of more light, but if you really want to make a room brighter, you should consider hanging lighter curtains, or using a sheer fabric. Heavy fabric curtains are important for a bedroom, so that the sunlight doesn’t wake you up too early, but in the living room you want as much natural light as possible.
If you want to show off your high ceilings, or trick the eye into thinking they’re taller than they appear, you can also mount your curtain rail about a foot above the window, and make sure the drapes touch the floor.
Sometimes it can simply be nice to surround ourselves with natural products, from woolen throws to wicker baskets. Showing off the wood grain on a few pieces of furniture can also give the room a more rustic feel – painting everything can be overwhelming.
Even if you’re going for a modern look, with lots of glass and metal, including the occasional natural item will make the room appear less stark, and add a bit of variety.
See if a Pet Fits In
Obviously we know that a pet isn’t right for everyone, but once you’ve created your perfect living space, maybe it’s time to consider if you can also make it a home for a furry friend.
There’s no denying that a dog on the sofa will make it feel far more welcoming (unless you’re allergic), so if you really want to spice up your living room, perhaps getting a pet isn’t the worst idea.